Boehringer to buy cancer vaccine firm AMAL for €325m

The acquisition will boost Boehringer Ingelheim in the immune cell-directed therapy space, adding colorectal cancer vaccine candidate.

BPI Staff

July 16, 2019

2 Min Read
Boehringer to buy cancer vaccine firm AMAL for €325m
Image: iStock/autokalle

The acquisition will be the latest boost for Boehringer Ingelheim in the immune cell-directed therapy space, adding a fusion protein platform and a colorectal cancer vaccine candidate.

AMAL’s lead candidate is ATP128, a vaccine in development for stage IV colorectal cancer. The candidate, set to enter the clinic this month, is based on AMAL Therapeutic’s KISIMA technology platform, which brings together three components into a fusion protein used as a vaccine.

These are a cell-penetrating peptide for antigen delivery, a proprietary toll-like receptor (TLR) peptide agonist as an adjuvant, and a multi-antigenic cargo that the firm says can be tailored for specific indications.


Image: iStock/autokalle

“Our new relationship with Boehringer Ingelheim will enable us to realize the full potential of our KISIMA platform to fight solid cancers while preserving AMAL’s approach to biotechnology research and our scientific and academic networks,” AMAL’s founder and CEO Madiha Derouazi said.

German drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim could pay up to €325 million ($365 million) for the Swiss immune-oncology firm through a one-off payment and developmental royalties.

B-I buys

Boehringer Ingelheim did not respond when asked for more information on the deal.

However, Michel Pairet, a member of the board, said in a statement the acquisition forms part of Boehringer’s “long-term strategy to enhance our existing position as an innovator of novel cancer therapies, including immuno-oncology treatments, which leverage cutting-edge scientific discoveries and their applications.”

The deal follows other activity in the space by the firm.

In September 2018, Boehringer bought oncolytic viral therapy firm ViraTherapeutics for €210 million.

And in April 2018, the company entered into a collaboration with OSE Immunotherapeutics to develop a SIRP-alpha antagonist targeting myeloid lineage cells.

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